>adventures in hair and skin care

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Bottles of shampoo and lotions manufactured by...Image via Wikipedia
My quest for the perfect natural skin & hair care has led me down some interesting paths, perhaps the most interesting being the replacement of conditioner, body lotion, and shaving gel with olive oil (even tried it as a "night cream"). Once I started playing around with olive oil I noticed that I had to reapply it after every shampoo because shampoo not only stripped it out of my hair but stripped my hair of its moisture as well no matter how moisturizing and gentle it was supposed to be. I had heard you could cleanse your facial skin with oil so I wondered if you could do the same thing with your hair and started researching to find out if anyone had tried it. I came across a lot of sites about water only cleansing, and after reading up on it some it caught my interest. 

The idea is that water is really all you need to cleanse your hair. It's possible for it to remove dirt and grime without stripping your hair of its necessary oil. The stripping of oil that comes with shampoo stimulates over production of it, which is why your hair gets so greasy after not being washed for a while. If you drop the shampoo, your hair will balance out its normal oil production. Shampoo came out during the Industrial Revolution for people to use to get excessive dirt and chemicals out of their hair, and our use of it just hasn't stopped since even though we don't need it any more and we haven't needed it in the centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution. 

This is much the same argument that's used for water only and oil only facial cleansing. It's pretty valid. My only question was if it would work for my hair in particular since my problem is not oiliness but dryness. So I looked up biracial hair care and got a nice big shock. I'm only supposed to be washing my hair about once a week, a little more than that if it's prone to getting oily in that time period, but not much more than that. No wonder I've had so many issues with frizzy, dry hair no matter how much conditioner and styling product I put on it. I'm washing it waaaay too much!

The water only cleansing site recommended starting out by slowly reducing shampooing so your hair doesn't turn in to a giant oil flat while it's readjusting, so I figured dropping down to my recommended weekly shampooing would probably be the best place to start. I washed my hair every day with hot water, scratching my scalp and making sure to work it through my hair real good, and then once a week I shampooed and followed up with a little olive oil in my hair to help compensate for the stripping of oil. 

So far it's been working out great. My hair is softer and less prone to frizz naturally than it's ever been. People have even commented on how much softer it feels. 

As for skin care, I still haven't quite found the trick to get me off the skin care products, but I have at least reduced the amount of chemicals I am introducing to my face by replacing my paraben-laced Cetaphil cleanser with hot water. Still got to do the salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide treatments along with using a moisturizer/sunscreen but at least the parabens are out of my life (hopefully for good). Since I switched my skin seems to be a lot more balanced, not drying out or getting oily as easily as it used to, and the hot water has actually helped with blackheads more than anything else I've tried besides perhaps a volcanic ash based clay masque, which is pretty even on performance with the hot water only I can't do it daily.

I'm also wearing makeup a lot less. Even though I still wear it pretty often because I like it, I've cut down dramatically on the foundation because quite frankly I've realized I don't really need it every day, not to mention it's not very skin healthy. I use just enough to enhance my natural complexion and then go. Might as well enjoy my smooth skin while I'm still young. LOL
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